Brisbane back-rower Matt Gillett is set to end his two-year Kangaroos hiatus against New Zealand on Friday night but he is wary of the pitfalls that may come with it.
Gillett missed the 2014 Four Nations with a shoulder injury but was the first to admit to NRL.com his form had slumped in previous seasons after representative games, particularly in the aftermath of State of Origin series.
The 27-year-old was excited however to play the Kiwis again after being a late inclusion for the Kangaroos in the 2014 trans-Tasman Test in place of injured Broncos teammate Sam Thaiday.
"I've tended to be injured or have surgeries towards the end of the year in previous seasons. But my form as well [hasn't helped either]," Gillett said of his hiatus.
"I have in the past slackened off a bit midway through seasons after the Origin period. It is hard thing to do is to play consistent footy throughout a whole year but I'm looking to work on that this year and finish with a good backend to the year.
"I had a full pre-season this year, I was injury-free so that's helped me out getting to know the players around me a bit more. It's just a mental thing for me now and looking after the body so if I can do that it'll help my football."
Gillett will partner Josh Papalii in the back row in what will be a new-look forward rotation for the Kangaroos, with the likes of incumbents Luke Lewis, Greg Bird and Trent Merrin overlooked for the Maroons duo in Mal Meninga's first game as Kangaroos coach.
"It's been a long time coming but it's a great honour to be here. I'm very fortunate to get my name back in this side and hopefully I can do the country proud," Gillett said.
"It was a bit of a shock but Mal has put some belief into me that I can get a job done and I won't be letting anyone down."
Gillett was buoyed too by the presence of Broncos teammates Thaiday, Corey Parker, Josh McGuire and Darius Boyd in the Kangaroos camp.
"It helps having the familiar faces around and I think everyone has had a bit to do with one another in the past, whether that's through Prime Ministers teams and whatnot. It has made life easier."